The debate about the design and purpose of Rosslyn continues. We have put forward evidence that has led us to conclude that Rosslyn is a deliberate copy of the last Jerusalem Temple and that is directly linked to modern Freemasonry. Several, senior, academics have expressed opinions that support various elements of this argument and a number of people who consider themselves to be ‘serious’ Masonic researchers have continued to refute our observations.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find any opponents who have a well reasoned counter-view. Most commentators who have rejected our findings have not dealt with the issues at all preferring to squeeze their eyes shut, put their fingers in their ears whilst repeating "isn’t, isn’t, isn’t".
So, let’s review the case for and against our analysis of Rosslyn.
Here is a summary of the information that caused us to conclude that Rosslyn was built as a spiritual reconstruction of the Jerusalem Temple that had been destroyed by Roman troops in 70 AD:
Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are even stronger, but truth will conquer all.
This line was the solution to a riddle that led directly to the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple after the Jews were released from their Babylonian captivity. The words come from The Book of Esdras and were recorded by the 1st century AD historian, Josephus in Book 11 of ‘Antiquities of the Jews’. It would be a coincidence of the highest magnitude that the only inscription in Rosslyn is the sentence that led to the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple, if Rosslyn was not also intended to be a reconstruction of the Holy Temple.
People have claimed connections between Rosslyn and Freemasonry for hundreds of years.
Here is the evidence that suggests they are right:
1. The central design theme of Rosslyn is around the six pointed star known as the ‘Seal of Solomon’and the layout of pillars forms a device known in Freemasonry as a Triple Tau - three interlocked 'T' shapes. (The tau being the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet). According the the ritual of the Holy Royal Arch degree the Triple Tau signifies the following four things, which the ritual gives in Latin and then English:
Templum Hierosolyma – 'The Temple of Jerusalem'
Clavis ad Thesaurum – 'A key to a treasure'
Theca ubi res pretiosa deponitur – 'A place where a precious thing is concealed'
Res ipsa pretiosa – 'The precious thing itself'
The Seal of Solomon is explained in the Holy Royal Arch degree as follows:
Nil nisi clavis deest - 'Nothing is wanted but the key'
Si tatlia jungere possis sit tibi scire posse - 'If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest enough'
The ancient rituals of Freemasonry appear to hold the key to understand Rosslyn by describing the meaning of the layout. This indicates that something very precious was buried under Rosslyn – the new ‘Jerusalem Temple’.
2. There is a carving on the outside southwestern wall that appears to show a carving of a candidate for Freemasonry being initiated by someone dressed like a member of the Knights Templar. The candidate is young and unbearded with short hair and appears as follows:
He is kneeling.
There are two pillars; one to each side of him
He is wearing a blindfold
He has a noose around his neck
His feet are in the form of a square
In his left hand he is holding a book like object with a Cross engraved on it, which appears to be a Bible.
This fits very precisely with initiation ceremony used today by Freemasons. The candidate also happens to be facing east (as in Freemasonry) but we will ignore that one correspondence. Those people who simply do not wish to believe that Rosslyn is connected to modern Freemasonry can igore this carving and say its all coincidence, but this is where science takes over from mere opinion.
A statistical calculation can be used to evaluate the probability of coincidence. The technique attempts to prove a ‘null hypothesis’ - which means trying to demonstrate that there cannot be any link between the two subjects in question (this carving and the first degree ritual of modern Freemasonry).
Next a weighting is given to all of the factors involved and assumed, in every case, the highest possible probability against any connection. To give the highest possible benefit to the case against a connection we gave a 50-50 chance of coincidence to all of the features. This means that every other statue of a man will have a blindfold, one out of two statues will show someone kneeling between two pillars etc. In this way the null hypothesis is given the best possible chance of succeeding .
The result is conclusive. Even when the possibility of coincidence is given the highest possible rating, the calculation shows there is a 0.0078% chance that this carving at Rosslyn and the initiation degree of modern Freemasonry are unconnected. That is less than one chance in a thousand. The null hypothesis can be confidently rejected with 99.9% confidence and so does not stand.
By all normal standards of proof it is unsound and unscientific for anyone to argue that this statue is not connected to the first degree of Freemasonry – unless they have substantial counter-evidence.
3. The St.Clair family (who built Rosslyn on their lands) became hereditary Grand Master Masons of Scotland. When King James VI tried to make himself Grand Master at the beginning of the 17th century he was not allowed to do so because that was a role that belonged to the St.Clairs of Rosslyn.
4. The inscription in Rosslyn about kings, wine, women and truth is central to the Masonic degree known as the Knights of the red Cross of Babylon.
For an update see findings.